Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year, and a New Post

We are posting today from the home of Jamie's parents in Monticello, Indiana. It has been about six weeks since our last post, and we have a lot of catching up to do. Levi has enjoyed visits with various friends and family members, which are documented in these photos. Jamie's folks visited him in November, and in December he made trips to Los Angeles to visit Steve's family, and Indiana to visit Jamie's family.

Jamie's folks (Jim and Judy Hunt) meet Levi for the first time. November 25, 2008. Flagstaff.

First of all, Levi is doing well. Jamie and Levi have spent much of their time catching up on three years' worth of his medical care, which has involved over 23 visits to various doctors and therapists. The biggest concerns have had to do with Levi's heart, his hearing and vision, and digestion.

Levi decides to repot a houseplant. November 2008.

Levi's first visit to Red Rock Crossing, where Steve proposed to Jamie. Sedona, AZ. November 30, 2008.

The Ukrainian officials mentioned that he could have a serious heart defect. After arriving in the US, one of our first tasks was to check this out. The pediatric cardiologist stated that it was either going to be very good news, or very bad. Thank God that Levi's heart is completely healthy.

Levi meets Santa in Jamie's classroom. Santa looks a lot like daddy! December 19, 2008.

Levi's hearing test, however, determined that he has a 60% hearing loss. This is likely the result of untreated ear infections. We have scheduled surgery on January 13th to put in tubes, which may restore much of his hearing. However, there may be permanent damage. Please keep him in your prayers. His hearing loss has likely affected his ability to speak, as well as balance.

Levi's first trip to the ocean. December 23, 2008. Laguna Beach, CA.

The G.I. specialist has put Levi on Prevacid to treat acid reflux. She also has instructed us to put him on Pediasure to assist with weight gain. He is also aspirating, which means that, at times, liquid is getting into his lungs. We are working with a feeding specialist to help be more safe and successful in this area.

Christmas Day with Steve's mom (Barbara Yoder). Diamond Bar, CA.

That's the major stuff on the medical front. In other areas, we see Levi making progress on a regular basis, which is very inspiring. Within 24 hours of arriving in the US (actually, at JFK in NYC), he began to feed himself for the first time. He is vocalizing more frequently, with his favorite word being "dada". With the help of some of Jamie's coworkers, Levi has learned how to sign for "more". He is spending more time walking while we hold his hands, and is learning how to play with various toys. Bath time has evolved from a time of terror to a time of joy.

That's all for now. Happy New Year! We hope to post more photos of his holiday travels in the upcoming weeks.